This week in PR (7 December)

About the author

Richard Bailey Hon FCIPR is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

Graffiti in Bristol @carnsightcomms
Graffiti in Bristol @carnsightcomms

In the news

  • Here’s the full list of Vuelio blog award winners from last Friday. PRexamples was the winner in the PR & Comms category; Guido Fawkes was the best political blog.
  • Here are the ICCO Global Awards winners.
  • Women in PR has announced its first ambassadors. The five women are: Amanda Coleman, Evadney Campbell, Jackie Cooper, Joan O’Connor, Nicola Green. There are five men too: Andrew Soar, David Gallagher, David Holdstock, James Coyle, Tony Langham.
  • ‘Influencers are becoming more influential.’ Tyto’s Tech 500 Power List is led by a blogger, Chris Skinner.
  • Following the announced departure of Paul Polman from Unilever, we now learn that chief marketing officer Keith Weed is to retire in 2019 after more than 35 years with the firm. [Holmes Report]
  • Ogilvy UK has completed its voluntary redundancy programme, resulting in the loss of 4% of staff or about 50 people (strategy partner James Whatley among them). [PR Week]


  • Keynote speaker at Bledcom 2019 will be Rupert Younger from the Centre for Corporate Reputation, University of Oxford (and co-founder of Finsbury).

Insights and opinions: Pick of the posts

These are the editor’s pick of posts about public relations this week (UK focused, but with a global outlook). Recommendations are welcome to [email protected] or @pr_place

Purpose and professionalism

  • Amanda Coleman: Lead with passion (6 December)
    ‘In 2019 I take up the Chair position on the PRCA Council and I hope that I can live up to the words of Sarah [Hall] and do what is right for everyone on the council and all the members of the PRCA.’
  • Dan Gerrella: Social purpose, accountability and the rise of PR (4 December)
    ‘Last week’s CIPR National Conference focused on accountable leadership and social purpose.’
  • Sarah Hall: 12 months at the CIPR: A tale of team work (3 December)
    ‘This year I’ve had the privilege of taking the helm at the CIPR, leading its Board, Council and large volunteer network. Here are my top five take outs from the last twelve months.’

Consulting, skills and careers

  • Ella Minty: PR in 2019: The good, the bad, the ugly (6 December)
    ‘We’ll see a lot of smaller agencies going under due to a boom in the number and availability of digital tools that can be easily used by in-house teams, thus no longer justifying the need to use a PR agency.’
  • Iliyana Stareva: 7 Learnings about the State of PR Agencies (4 December)
    ‘I was shocked to see how much AVEs are still being used! My reaction as I got to that page of the report was “Oh wow…”
  • Arun Sudhaman with Richard Edelman: Podcast: Richard Edelman On Industry Challenges & More (4 December)
    ‘[Public relations] is not a business for maximising your income. But it is a business for maximising your impact.’
  • Lorna Branton: How long is too long for a communications job? (30 November)
    ‘I have been in my organisation now for almost five years, albeit in different roles. Should I be starting to worry about becoming a one trick communications pony?’

Politics and public affairs

  • Matthew Rock: Has the business lobby failed in the Brexit process? (5 December)
    ‘As a comms observer, I’d say that Leave has had the flair players – Sir James Dyson and, in particular, Tim Martin of Wetherspoons have massacred the assorted, anonymous FTSE executives – but Remain has shown the better team structure and organisation.’
  • Emily Wallace: Calling all Women in Public Affairs: Let’s get a bit angry! (30 November)
    ‘How can it be that week after week after week our industry news is dominated by men, men and more men when there are so many brilliant women at all levels.  What is going wrong?’

Public and third sectors

  • James McCollum: A day with NHS Digital (no date)
    ‘Your leaders need you to provide your expertise, experience and guidance calmly in the face of a crisis. Highlight tangible implications and scenarios and demonstrate how you’re handling them.’

Gender, diversity and wellbeing

  • Rachel Picken: Operating at 80% Awesome (5 December)
    ‘Ask yourself: What can I do today that delivers value? Is that value for me, my family, my colleague or your organisation? What’s the Minimum Viable Product of Activity? Can you keep your to-do list to five items?’
  • Simon Maule: Striking a balance – why tone of voice matters (5 December)
    ‘Analysis of 100 reports from some of the UK’s leading firms found that a majority (58%) of thought leadership copy is written in a male tone. A minority (38%) is written in the female tone, with only a small proportion (5%) written in a neutral tone which blends the two.’
  • Advita Patel: Five tips that helped increase my confidence (30 November)
    ‘Earlier this year I had a bit of a relapse in confidence so I vowed that I was going to start giving myself some self-care and respect.’

Crisis and reputation

  • Jon Cronin with Tony Langham: Reputation management [podcast] (no date)
    ‘One of the reasons for writing the book was to say that reputation management is the future of public relations and corporate communications.’

Internal communication

  • Katie Macaulay: When two worlds collide (5 December)
    ‘Internal and external communicators have much to gain from collaboration, but we ignore at our peril our respective specialisms and the differing needs of our audiences.’
  • Jenni Kampf: I’ve invested in my career! (4 December)
  • ‘We need to be positioning internal communications and employee engagement as strategic functions, as vital to the smooth running of our organisations as finance or HR.’
  • Rachel Miller: Ten Yammer mistakes to avoid (4 December)
    ‘Yammer generates conversations owned by the organisation. Not IT, not HR, not Comms. You maybe involved in setting it up, but if you merely use it as a broadcast tool, you are missing a huge trick.’
  • Tarnya Dunning: Bridging the Trust Gap (4 December)
    ‘Trust is built when a leader is reliable, accepting of different views, open and congruent between words and actions. Too often these characteristics are missing in the actions of politicians, CEOs, and organisational leaders creating incongruence or the trust gap.’
  • Jackie Le Fevre: The benefits of values-based communication (3 December)
    ‘Values based communication is not about simply attributing channels, media or messages to the list of words on the wall which someone somewhere calls ‘Our Values’.
  • Joanna Pohl: Multi-skilled administrators and executive assistants make great IC pros (30 November)
    ‘Backgrounds in administrative and executive support should make for sought-after candidates for internal communication managers looking to add to their teams, thanks to the wealth and depth of experience they can bring to the profession.’

Campaigns and creativity

Media and digital

  • Seb Patrick: 10 Tips to Make your Podcast Great (6 December)
    ‘Here are just a few of the tips I’ve picked up in that decade-and-a-bit for how to make a podcast that really works and connects with listeners.’
  • Nicola Rossi: Pretending to be the boss: Tips for ghost tweeters (6 December)
    ‘To ghostwrite convincingly you need to do more than just string a few words together. It takes empathy and imagination as well as a good grasp of the facts.’
  • Kate Hunter: What makes a good blog great? (5 December)
    ‘I recently had the honour of judging the Vuelio Best UK Blog Awards 2018. Alongside a blogger, industry expert, journalist and marketer, we worked out a few things that truly make some of these bloggers the best in the UK.’
  • Stephen Waddington: Media relations is thriving (5 December)
    ‘Much of the modern public relations business grew up out of media relations and publicity, rooted in storytelling and editorial engagement.’
  • Paul Sutton with Gini Dietrich: What to really expect in digital in 2019. Probably. [Podcast] (5 December)
    ‘I believe that the man who runs my country [Donald Trump] has saved Twitter singlehandedly.’
  • Debs Field: Anyone killing the radio star? (5 December)
    ‘If I turn on any radio station right now, I’d be unlikely to find another 30 year old female. However if I open my app to podcasts, I’m likely to find a list of hundreds.’
  • Michael White: Instagram data changes are far from picture-perfect (4 December)
    ‘Whilst the Instagram data tap hasn’t been completely shut off, it has metaphorically been reduced to a steady drip.’
  • Gary Taylor: Defence of the realm (30 November)
    ‘As soon as any organisation goes down the route of having a social media presence you are expected to be online, all the time. And you’re expected to know all the answers, all the time. And to fix things to the satisfaction of your correspondent, or else.’

#prstudent #bestPRblogs

Editor’s note:

There are more posts to consider than I can include here. So I’m issuing monthly challenges to help me select. December: I’m looking for book reviews (you choose the book). January: Your reflections on health (mental, physical and/or financial).

  • Lucy Hayball (Bournemouth): The final decision – masters, travelling or a job? (6 December)
    ‘I’m one of those people who always needs a plan and a goal and I’ll do everything I can to work towards that. For the first time in my life, I don’t really feel like I’m 100% in control of my future.’


  • Andrea Price (South Wales): Youthquake 2017 (6 December)
    ‘The General Election of 2017, went a long way towards proving that youth are not apathetic or alienated, and that political campaigns can have huge impact on what is often thought to be a foregone conclusion.’
  • Elian Owen (South Wales): Keeping up with the social media influencers (5 December)
    ‘But enough about celebrities. What really interests me about influencers is how much power the opinion of the average fan or content creator is now afforded in the modern era.’
  • Muriosa Houston (Ulster): Shonda Rhimes, Thank You For Using Your Platform To Raise Feminist Issues (6 December)
    ‘Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, owns her own crisis management firm. Shonda Rhimes made it clear that this part was to be played by an African American woman.’
  • Orlagh Shanks (Liverpool John Moores): Fear of the Unknown: What Happens After I Graduate? (6 December)
    ‘It might be seven months away, but I’m already dreading graduating from university. I wish I had a plan in place or at least had some idea of what I want to do when the time comes.’
  • Nora Brennan (Ulster): The High-Street Hustle (5 December)
    ‘Your team members are your forefront, the lead on your reputation, and act as the focal pull to the potential customer. Build a strong, dependable, enthusiastic team that will do all necessary to avoid providing a customer with reason to grow disengaged with the service implemented in-store.’
  • Holly Rees (South Wales): Self-reflection (4 December)
    ‘Two months ago today, I started a blog named Red Panda Public Relations. Then, I had no knowledge of Public Relations blogging, or if I’m honest, anything about Public Relations in general.’
  • Laura Wijnolst (Leeds Beckett): Changing your life for a healthier planet (4 December)
    ‘Recycling has become much more normal in England. However, there is still so much more that can be done.’
  • Silje Bekkelund (South Wales): Question marks and thoughts part 2 (3 December)
    ‘I think i have learned a lot more from this blogging experience than I initially thought I would, and i can honestly tell  you I’ve had fun doing it.’
  • Lottie Wiltshire (South Wales): Ten weeks later… (3 December)
    ‘From the first tutorial up to now, the USW PR community has grown so much and it’s been amazing to see how everyone has flourished from their first blog post and all come together as a group to celebrate successes.’